"He was born to shout for his gloves and have a servant bring them, but I was born to find my own gloves underneath my own chaos..." Goudge's novel is a romanticized version of the life of Lucy Walter, long-time mistress to Charles Stuart (or was she his wife?), before he ascended the throne of England as well as mother to the Duke of Monmouth. Charles soon finds Lucy entirely inappropriate as a wife in his new role as King of England, and needing a wealthy heiress to fund his efforts to oust Cromwell unknown forces conspire to discredit Lucy and the marriage and to take her child from her.
Originally posted on Reveries Reviews The Child from the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge is a decent book. Its ridiculously long and boring, but the ending was satisfying, in a way, and the story wasnt all that bad. The characters were all developed to an extreme, as with all of Goudges books, and the description was amazing. This is the story of Lucy Walter-Barlow, mistress/wife(?) of King Charles II of England. Goudge herself states in the forward that very little - if anything - is known of Lucys childhood, and the lines between fact and fiction have been blurred in other places as well. It is said that she seduced Charles (and was not a very good girl before that), but Goudge doesnt portray her that way. On the other hand, perhaps it was simply Charless enemies - those who wanted the throne for themselves - who made Lucy Walter-Barlow seem this way.
Before I read this particular book, it wasn't that I wasn't familiar with Goudge. Most of the books I rate five-stars are adventures with fairy tale endings where everybody ends up fine and dandy. This book didn't have my fairy tale ending, but when it didn't, I oddly wasn't sad that I had read the whole book "for nothing." Because it wasn't for nothing.
Elizabeth Goudge fictionalizes and romanticizes the life of Lucy Walter in the HF novel published in 1970 in, The Child from the Sea. Although there is information available surrounding Lucys behavior once Charles became King; her upbringing and even relationship with Charles is rather shadowy. The Child from the Sea starts with Lucys childhood and is admittedly slow for the first 200 pages. The best historical fiction novels find the perfect balance of literary language to dialogue but the beginning of The Child from the Sea is too flowery and therefore doesnt always flow well with the pace. Even though Lucys personality is purely fictional in The Child from the Sea and therefore not to be taken with a heavy history hand; Goudge succeeds in making her more of a person and having readers familiar with the read history consider her in a new light over that merely of a mistress and overprotective mother to James. Goudge was clearly a deep individual and her intellectual thoughts were interspersed into The Child from the Sea. It should be noted that Goudge is highly impressive with her ability to create characters. The Child from the Sea becomes highly repetitive as it progresses which isnt helped by an absence of reader emotional involvement. Goudges The Child from the Sea still stands out 46 years as being the only HF novel focusing on Lucy Walter and is therefore recommended for those interested in the mistresses of Charles II.
I read this book back in the 70's while in my late teens.
She has a deeply spiritual tinge to her writing that should be off-putting to this atheist, but I have loved every book of hers.
In fact, I don't believe I've ever read another of Ms. Goudge's books since.
Elizabeth Goudge was an English author of novels, short stories and children's books. Goudge was awarded the Carnegie Medal for The Little White Horse (1946), the book which J.